Instructor training

In order to increase the capacity for computational training for researchers, the Institute is working towards increasing the pool of certified Carpentry instructors. With the growing demand for workshops thought the UK we need to make sure that these events can be staffed with qualified trainers. We help The Carpentries run instructor training events in the UK based on tailor-made curriculum designed by Greg Wilson, founder of the Software Carpentry.  

What is instructor training?

Instructor training is a two-day intense workshop during which the participants learn and discuss a variety of teaching techniques. The curriculum of instructor training is based on the outcomes of research in education and pedagogy, with emphasis on the “best practices” of teaching computational skills based on key educational research findings and how they can be used to help people learn (programming) better and faster. The training provides the participants with skills essential to become an effective instructor in teaching programming but also teaching in general and is broadly applicable to other courses in a variety of disciplines and not only for teaching Carpentry lessons. Instructor training will does not teach how to program in R or Python, use git, or any of the other topics taught in other Carpentry lessons and workshops.

Instructor training covers topics such as course and lesson design, psychology of education and how learning process works, managing a classroom, motivating your learners and how not to demotivate them, dealing with challenges as a teacher, building a community of practice around teaching and so on. It also discuss the value of feedback and learn how to provide as well as how to receive it - feedback is meant for teachers as mush as it is meant for students.

A part of the instructor training also focuses on Carpentry-specific matters such as use of the infrastructure for setting up the workshops and contributing to the training materials, becoming part of the community and its various aspects and ways in which people can get involved and contribute.

Who is it for?

Instructor training is primarily aimed at those who want to become certified Carpentry instructors - completing the training is one of the key components of getting qualified as a Carpentry instructor. However, owing to the universal design of the training curriculum, it may be of interest for anyone who is works in education, organises and teaches at different courses (not only in scientific computing) and who wants to become a better teacher. 

How to get involved?

Instructor Training in general are centrally managed by The Carpentries. Partnering institutions have annual quota in terms of how many instructors they can train per year and typically have a dedicated instructor training for their site. If you belong to a partnering institution, the best way to get involved is to get in touch with the programme manager at your institution to see when the next instructor training is going to be. 

You can also apply online to become an instructor directly with the Carpentries. This form is used both as an open call for people who wish to become instructors but are not associated with any partnering institution and by people who come from partnering institutions.

Finally, as Platinum partner and UK Carpentry coordinator, the Institute has its own annual allowance where we can train a certain number of people and have certain flexibility in planning and running these events. Instructor training events organised by the Institute are advertised on the Institute's website and twitter as well as on the Carpentries website. The spaces tend to fill up very quickly so it is good to sign up as soon as you know you can attend. You can also indicate your interest to attend such training by putting yourself on our waiting list - next time we run such an even you will get priority.

There is also a possibility to run instructor training for a particular group within one organisation or a consortium. If you are interested in hosting such event, please email us for more information.